Two recent developments have bolstered a campaign by Larry Sinclair to advance the sensational claim in his 2009 book “Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder” that he and Barack Obama twice engaged in homosexual acts accompanied by cocaine use.
On May 17, lawyers representing Internet bookselling giant Amazon.com filed a brief in federal district court arguing that Sinclair’s book is not defamatory.
Last week, Robert Braddock Jr. – the Democratic Party operative who taped the lie detector test administered to Sinclair in February 2008 – was indicted in an unrelated matter by federal authorities and charged with conspiring to conceal campaign donations.
Braddock’s polygraph concluded Sinclair was lying.
But Sinclair continues to insist the charges in his book against Obama are true and that he has been a victim of a White House-organized campaign to discredit him.
As WND reported, U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon dismissed a libel case against Sinclair for Sinclair’s claim that top Obama adviser David Axelrod paid $750,000 to rig the results of the polygraph test.
Leon ruled in his Feb. 28 opinion dismissing the case that the plaintiffs, Daniel Parisi and his Internet porn site Whitehouse.com Inc., failed to show Sinclair had published any knowingly false statements. The judge concluded Sinclair had taken appropriate steps to verify information before publishing it.
Parisi filed March 30 jointly with Sinclair a “Stipulation and Order of Voluntary Dismissal,” which effectively ended Parisi’s claims against Sinclair.
Parisi, however, decided to appeal Leon’s March 31 order dismissing the libel case against Amazon.com.
“The issue before this Court is narrow and straightforward: Must an online bookseller stop selling a book based on mere allegations that its content is defamatory?” the lawyers for Amazon.com wrote in a brief filed with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia May 17. “The answer is no, particularly where, as here, a separate unchallenged ruling of the District Court determined the book was not defamatory.”
Noting that Leon’s opinion had established a standard of “actual malice” in the case, the Amazon.com lawyers argued that the case against the online bookseller could not be sustained because it could not be proved that Sinclair’s book was false or that Sinclair had written the book in reckless disregard of whether it was false or not – a definition of “actual malice” set in the famous 1964 Supreme Court case, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.
“I believe Amazon attorneys prepared a very strong and correct brief,” Sinclair told WND. “And I agree with Amazon’s reference that the Parisi brief appears to be more for the purpose of further publishing vicious attacks against me personally than it is to challenge the legal findings of the District Court in their March 31, 2012, dismissal of Parisi claims as they relate to Appellee/Defendant Amazon.com Inc.”
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has scheduled Parisi’s appeal against Amazon.com for oral argument on Sept. 20 at 9:30 a.m.
Sinclair told WND he plans to be present for the oral arguments.
Meanwhile, the campaign for U.S. House of Representatives conducted by Connecticut Speaker of the House Chris Donovan was rocked last week with the arrest of his campaign finance director, Robert Braddock Jr.
Braddock recorded the Sinclair lie detector test in his capacity as the director of business development for the website Whitehouse.com.
According to an affidavit FBI Special Agent William B. Aldenberg filed last week in federal court in Connecticut, Braddock arranged for Donovan’s campaign to accept “conduit contributions” from individuals, “the purpose of which was to conceal the fact that the individuals actually financing the payments had an interest in legislation which was expected to and did come before the Connecticut General Assembly during the 2012 legislative session.”
Specifically, Braddock solicited campaign contributions from “roll-your-own,” or RYO, smoke shop owners who sought to defeat a proposed Connecticut law that would have imposed on them a tobacco manufacturers’ designation requiring a substantial licensing fee and tax increase.
Aldenberg’s affidavit detailed a series of recorded calls and meetings with undercover FBI officers in which Braddock arranged at least two payments of $10,000 to Donovan’s campaign. The payments consisted of four $2,500 checks in one instance and three checks amounting to $10,000 in the second. The contributions were made in the names of “conduit contributors,” or payments made by one person in the name of another.
The scheme was designed to hide the fact that the RKO smoke shop owners were making the campaign contributions in exchange for Donovan’s agreement to kill the revenue measure.
The affidavit recommended Braddock be indicted for conspiring to unlawfully conceal campaign contributions in violation of federal statutes.
Braddock was fired by the Donovan campaign after his arrest.
According to Courant.com, Donovan temporarily relinquished some of his duties as speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives in the wake of Braddock’s arrest but has not abandoned his congressional bid.
The tax measure effectively died May 9, when the Connecticut legislative session ended without either chamber calling for a vote.
In reporting the incident, the Connecticut Post described Braddock as “a hired gun from North Carolina who over a short career has raised millions for several campaigns” and “is known as a savvy, cool-under-pressure operative,” who once worked “for an adult entertainment website.”
The Connecticut Post further reported that Donovan’s campaign had been selected from a pool of prospective candidates recommended by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Sinclair noted on his website that Braddock, since his indictment, has scrubbed from his social networking Web postings his prior links to Brook Colangelo, chief information officer at the executive office of President Obama and the CIO of the Democratic National Committee from 2007 to 2009.